Forum Thread

Are my Transmission/Motor Mounts bad?

Pedantyc 4,500 566 December 1, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I have a 03 Nissan Sentra that shakes badly when in drive and stopped. The shaking is not there in park or in neutral.

Seems to be mount related according to my guesswork and Googlework. How much of a pain in the ass is it to fix this and how much would a shop charge if I took it in?

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#2
got an 07 civic. had to replace my right engine mount, cost me around $400(part and labor). Though its not a sentra, hope that give u an average.

car symptom was idle was fine, backing up and the first 2-3 minutes of drive, high vibrations and makes this really weird noise. only happens at cold start though...

Hope that helps.
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#3
Quote from Somesort View Post :
I have a 03 Nissan Sentra that shakes badly when in drive and stopped. The shaking is not there in park or in neutral.

Seems to be mount related according to my guesswork and Googlework. How much of a pain in the ass is it to fix this and how much would a shop charge if I took it in?
It's as likely to be the transmission mounts, as the motor's.
Regardless, mounts of that nature aren't cheap.
There can be a huge price difference between one and another, depending on the suspension on the mount, so let's say you had three motor mounts and they all needed to be changed, it is possible that 2 of them are 60 bux apiece and the other is $320.
That's just an example, but I have lived the experience a few times in my life and I've seen all types of mounts and a big difference in price. In the '60's. motor mounts were cheap. but they didn't have the isolating materials (often special rubber) and were plain and basic metal. perhaps costing $20 apiece.
If there are mechanics in the neighbourhood who offer a free check up, then that's the way to go, and you can decide what to do later.
An 03 Nissan still has some value (depending on the model) and you may be faced with a hefty bill that has you wondering if you should sink that much into it.
BTW: Sometimes, you can have one main mount that is totally trashed and two others that are just worn, so you might be able to get away with just changing the one bad one, and get a year or two more out of the mounts.

NOW the good news. I have had the same problem as you and it turned out to be the tranny's mounts that were just loose, maybe a bolt or two that was severed, so that job was cheap.
Here's hoping your problem is similar.
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#4
Top and side is usually easy to replace, for the bottom one you will need a jack to support engine.
You should fix it since it may cause a/c hoses to leak later.
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#5
Can you post good pics of these mounts?

From what i can tell, it's usually the harder to replace ones on the bottom that go bad.

My 1995 Ford Escort still has it's original motor and transmission mounts at 210K miles.

Unfortunately, a lot of bad motor mounts aren't going to be this obvious:


They will probably look more like this:


Or maybe this


Unfortunately, it's one of those things where sometimes you do have to remove it to verify that it's bad as well.

These things are not necessarily that hard to DIY, it's more intimidating than anything else.
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#6
I may crawl around later and look at it. I don't think the ones for the engine are visible really and the transmission has a plastic cover over most of it if I recall. I may end up taking it in. I think I could do it myself, but I just don't have the time to play with it right now.

Since it is my wife's car, I should probably get is fixed correctly. Hopefully it doesn't cost more than the car is worth.

Thanks everyone.
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#7
Quote from Somesort View Post :
I may crawl around later and look at it. I don't think the ones for the engine are visible really and the transmission has a plastic cover over most of it if I recall. I may end up taking it in. I think I could do it myself, but I just don't have the time to play with it right now.

Since it is my wife's car, I should probably get is fixed correctly. Hopefully it doesn't cost more than the car is worth.

Thanks everyone.
I'm surprised that people are even suggesting doing it yourself.
We're talking about needing some special tools. Just lifting the engine is rather challenging and you're not going to do it with your home toolkit.
I agree with you 100% to take it to real mechanics.

On the lighter side of things. when I was a kid/teenager and too broke and stupid to maintain my cars, I once had to reverse in a rush and when I stepped on the gas, my hood buckled from the engine rising, as it just rested there in place. All the motor mounts were broken.
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#8
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Just lifting the engine is rather challenging and you're not going to do it with your home toolkit.
I use a car jack with a block of wood between the jack and the oil pan. Quite frankly the hardest part might be getting some of the bolts off since rust is often an issue when dealing with bottom engine/transmission mounts.
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#9
I would really not expect this to happen to a 2007 car. You said it does not happen when the car is stopped, so it makes me think its something to do with rotating parts.

Does the vibration speed up with car speed? (Not engine speed)
Can you feel the vibration in the brake pedal?

My first thought is a bad tire or very warped brake rotor, not a motor mount.

Edit: I read the post again, it looks like it happens when stopped too. Dang, I was going for the easy more likely fix. I assume the CEL is not on?
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#10
Quote from Somesort View Post :
I have a 03 Nissan Sentra...
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I would really not expect this to happen to a 2007 car.
2003 is not the same as 2007 ??? Did I miss something here?
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#11
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I would really not expect this to happen to a 2007 car. You said it does not happen when the car is stopped, so it makes me think its something to do with rotating parts.

Does the vibration speed up with car speed? (Not engine speed)
Can you feel the vibration in the brake pedal?

My first thought is a bad tire or very warped brake rotor, not a motor mount.

Edit: I read the post again, it looks like it happens when stopped too. Dang, I was going for the easy more likely fix. I assume the CEL is not on?
Nope. No engine lights. Only notice when at a complete stop when in drive.
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#12
Quote from Somesort View Post :
Only notice when at a complete stop when in drive.
Hey, I've had that too and it was just the exhaust system that was a bit loose.
Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and find out that's all it is.
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#13
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Hey, I've had that too and it was just the exhaust system that was a bit loose.
Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and find out that's all it is.
Lets hope so. I am going to get it checked out this weekend and quoted.
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#14
You might want to check a website that specializes in Nissans or even Sentras, like NissanForums.com or NICOclub.com (Nissan Infinity Car Owners)

It's possible a motor mount isn't physically broken but isn't operating at the right pressure. This is because most cars made in the past decade have at least one motor mount that's a rubber bladder inflated with oil, the inflation controlled by the computer and a solenoid valve. On some Toyotas the solenoid would malfunction because its oil filter screen would clog.
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#15
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Hey, I've had that too and it was just the exhaust system that was a bit loose.
Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and find out that's all it is.
Yes, now that you mention it, that car is about the right age where the exhaust heat shields come loose than fall off.
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